Research Seminar Series with Professor Renata Salecl – 25 January 2018



Abstract – Ignorance in Times of Post-Truth

What happened to our attention at the time of “post-truth”? Why do we quickly ignore the facts and close our eyes to unpleasant information? Ignorance and denial are all present today. Jacques Lacan coined the term “passion for ignorance” when he observed people’s avoidance of traumatic truth. This presentation will question how this passion operates in today’s times and which new forms of denials emerged with the development of science, especially genetics and neuroscience. While ignorance is often perceived in a negative way, there are a number of situations where it is in the best interest of the individual. The lecture will look at cases when “ignorance is bliss” and when it is of help that love is blind.


About the presenter

Professor Renata Salecl is a Slovene philosopher, sociologist and legal theorist. She is the author of Choice, On Anxiety and The Spoils of Freedom, to name a few. She is a senior researcher at the Institute of Criminology, Faculty of Law at the University of Ljubljana, and holds a professorship at Birkbeck College, University of London, as well as being a visiting professor at the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s College, London.  She has been a visiting professor at London School of Economics, lecturing on the topic of emotions and law. Every year she lectures at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, on Psychoanalysis and Law. Her books have been translated into 13 languages and she has given a well-known, much viewed TED talk on anxiety and choice.